A lot of time and money is invested to creating the safest sporting equipment possible. The pads are made to work when they fit properly. Athletes should be taught how to choose the correctly sized equipment. If they are using pads too big or too small, the pads will be covering the wrong areas which can result in serious injury. When worn the correct way, the pads will absorb majority of the physical blow and leave you unharmed. Players wearing the wrong sized equipment should be banned and regulated closer.
The rate of career ending injuries is on the rise so finally the heads of different leagues are putting stricter penalties for vicious hits that are known to cause harm to an individual. For example in hockey, the leading cause of concussions is due to a hit from behind into the boards.
The USA Hockey Rulebook clearly states that a major penalty plus a game misconduct penalty, or match penalty, must be called in the following instances:
(1) In every instance where a player forcefully checks an opponent who is standing along the boards (back toward the middle of the ice).
(2) In every instance where a player is thrust head first into the boards or goal frame.
(3) In every instance where injury results from a check from behind, regardless of whether or not board contact is made.
A match penalty must be assessed in all instances when a player clearly checks an opponent from behind with excessive force while the opponent is in a vulnerable position.
Checking from behind is senseless and extremely dangerous. On-Ice Officials must be sensitive to all checks from behind that occur within the “danger zone,” which is the area approximately ten feet out from the boards. Players who are checked from behind in this area and who then crash into the boards may be at high risk of receiving a serious and possibly life altering injury.
Similar rules have been put into place in football as well. The helmet to helmet, often referred to as targeting, hits are often life altering so the NFL had to do something about this epidemic. A large fine is given to the guilty player as well as a game misconduct. This is just one of many rule changes the NFL has passed in 2016. A few other new rules posted on NFL.com are:
- Make all chop blocks illegal.
- Expand the horse collar rule
- A player who is penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls will be disqualified.
- Eliminate the five-yard penalty for when an eligible receiver illegally touches a forward pass after being out of bounds and re-establishing himself inbounds. The owners voted to make it a loss of down.
These rules are all imposed to help lower the injury rate to these athletes and make the sport all around safer without losing the interest from the audience.
The Washington Post elaborates on the crisis claiming that, more than 40 percent of retired National Football League players had signs of traumatic brain injury based on sensitive MRI scans called diffusion tensor imaging, according to a press release from the AAN. The researchers studied 165 deceased people who had played the sport in high school, college or professionally, and found evidence of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) in 131 of them.
“2016 Rules Changes and Points of Emphasis.” 2016 Rules Changes and Points of Emphasis | NFL Football Operations. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2016.
Casebook.” USA Hockey Officiating Rulebook Mobile Site. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.
“forty Percent of Former NFL Players Suffer from Brain Injuries, New Study Shows.” The Washington Post. WP Company, n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2016.